by Jim Fetzer
Imagine the benefits that would be derived from a dictionary in which the words were improperly defined, whether that occurred accidentally or not. And similar considerations apply to encyclopedias.–The author
Having encountered the abuse of Wikipeida for political purposes both in relation to the entry for Scholars for 9/11 Truth, “Wikipedia as a 9/11 disinformation op”, and in relation to my own biographical entry, “James H. Fetzer — Wikipedia NOT”, I suppose I should not have been surprised.
When it turned to the latest version of my entry–which has been revised several times–I was rather astonished that it had been cut by more than half and what remained was decidedly slanted to make me out to be an anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist, just as the ADL had done with Alan Sabrosky, Gordon Duff, Kevin Barrett and me.
I had found that attack especially ironic, since it cites passages from an article of mine, “Is 9/11 research ‘anti-Semitic’?”, in which I demonstrate that 9/11 theories implicating Israel are not anti-Semitic, a theme on which I have expanded in a more recent article, “Anti-anti-Semitism and the search for historical truth”:
But of course challenging the role of dual-citizens in policy-forming or decision-making positions because who knows whether their loyalty to the United States might be outweighed by their loyalty to the other state becomes, in the hands of Wikipedia, “Anti-Defamation League has critized Fetzer for allegedly focusing on “American government officials of Jewish background”. But to be Jewish is not to be a citizen of another nation, which makes this a gross distortion.
The Academic Freedom Conference of 26 April 2014
The change in tenor between the entry of 17 April 2014, which is presented below, and of 31 May 2014, which follows, is so blatant and extensive that it has caused me to reflect upon what could have caused this major revision, where my best guess is that it was precipitated by my participation in the conference, “Academic Freedom: Are there limits to inquiry?”, using JFK, 9/11 and the Holocaust as examples. It just happened to be held in Champaign-Urbana, IL, on 26 April 2014.
I both organized the conference with Stephen Francis and served as its moderator. But the crucial reason for trashing me now and making massive revisions to my entry–which underwent an earlier revision, as I have explained above, but not on the order of this one–has to be what I had to say, not about JFK and 9/11, especially (even though I have emphasized Israeli complicity in the events of 9/11), but what I said about the Holocaust, which the American public needs to know:
Click here: James H. Fetzer, “Are there limits to inquiry? JFK, 9/11 and the Holocaust” (26 April 2014)
The decimation of my entry–apart from the summary of my academic contributions–was both savage and painstaking in ways one might expect if Wikipedia were a Zionist disinformation operation. I am no longer a “noted philosopher of science and leading conspiracy theorist” but now merely “a philosopher of science and conspiracy theorists”, where my research on 9/11, especially, where my “allegations and speculations [on 9/11] have drawn strong criticism.”.
Wikipedia entry of 31 May 2014
The first crucial point that should be understood is that Wikipedia eschews references to original sources. That is quite remarkable in itself, since any professional scholar can confirm that serious research has to be based on original sources. The benefit of relying upon secondary or even tertiary sources is that Wikipedia can pick and choose between those who comment on a subject to support its preferred depiction and reject complaints that they are ignoring the best sources.
There is a nice smear at the end, which is intended to tarnish my reputation, claiming that the University of Minnesota asserting I have claimed “a false association between my views and those of the university”. But if you trace the alleged source, no such claim is made; and the university has made no effort to rein me in. And for good reason: only administrators speak for institution. Faculty neverspeak for their institutions, which makes this a clever misrepresentation.
The presentation of my conspiracy claims is contracted to the point of virtual unintelligibility. (Compare this with the extended discussion in the earlier version of my entry, where JFK, 9/11 and Wellstone are accorded their own sections.) And the attack focusing on my earliest article in VT about Sandy Hook completely disregards a dozen subsequent ones, which explain that the evidence substantiates that no children actually died and it was an elaborate gun-control hoax.
Indeed, the earliest reports were consistent with a Mossad attack, including what appeared to have been a three-man team that was arrested but whose names were never released and reports of a van traveling to Greenwich Village to a Mossad safe-house, where Gordon Duff, Mike Harris and I believed at the time that this had been their handiwork. The failure to report my later work illustrates the fallacy of only citing evidence in your favor and simply ignoring the rest.
This is known as “special pleading”, which is a common practice among used-car salesmen, politicians and disinformation operators. Notice the novel insistence that “mainstream views” be taken into account, as if public interest in “conspiracy theorists” did not derive from their divergence from mainstream views. So not only are Wiki editors having free reign by citing secondary sources in preference to primary but they can also assail their targets as being “out of step” with the mainstream media. Unreal!
Wikipedia entry of 17 April 2014
What is most revealing, however, is the drastic revision of the discussion of my conspiracy research, which was gutted from the version that appeared as recently as 17 April 2014, but where the precipitating event for these massive changes appears to have been the Academic Freedom Conference, which was held on 26 April 2014. This is the kind of swift and massive retribution we might expert from the God of the Old Testament, who takes no prisoners. Consider the following:
In the latest version, of course, I am no longer “a noted philosopher of science and a leading conspiracy theorist”, but simply someone who, in the early 1990s, “began promoting JFK assassination conspiracy theories” and subsequently conspiracy theories about 9/11 and Wellstone. The fact that I created a research group consisting of the most highly qualified individuals to very study the death of JFK, which led to three classic collections of expert studies, is not even mentioned much less discussed.
Nor would a reader learn that I have chaired or co-chaired five national conferences on JFK or that I am not only the founder of Scholars for 9/11 Truth but organized its first national conference in Madison (2007) and its first international conference in Vancouver (2012) nor that edited the first book from Scholars, THE 9/11 CONSPIRACY (2007). None of that contributes to the effort undertaken to trivialize and smear me as a scholar.
Indeed, it never ceases to amaze me how I could have attained so many forms of distinction for my past research as an academician, yet suddenly lose my ability to conduct research when it comes to JFK, 9/11 or the death of Sen. Paul Wellstone, much less Sandy Hook and the Boston bombing. But the editors of Wikipedia have a lot of confidence in their readers being unable to add “2” and “2”, enabling them to be played for saps.
The gratuitous smear for “falsely associating” my views with those of the University of Minnesota is not present. But notice especially that the introduction to my “conspiracy claims” in the earlier version is longer than the entire section about my “conspiracy claims” in the new one. In the older version, there were separate sections about the assassination of JFK, the 9/11 attacks, the death of Sen. Paul Wellstone, my alleged “anti-Semitism” and my views on Middle Eastern affairs. None of this appears in the new entry.
JFK, 9/11 and Wellstone
Reliance upon secondary or tertiary sources pays off “big time” when one op is citing another, creating the false impression of confirmation for the original source by an independent one. The reference to Josiah Thompson, for example, is a perfect illustration, where he has attacked me probably a thousand times since I organized and moderated the first symposium on Zapruder film alteration during the JFK Lancer Conference in Dallas in 1996. I have exposed his role as a JFK disinfo op in “JFK, the CIA and The New York Times”, which every student of the assassination should be required to read.
Moreover, other prominent figures in the field, such as Robert Groden, who even served as an expert for the House Select Committee on Assassinations when it reinvestigated the case in 1976-77, turns out to be a limited hangout specialist, as I explained in “The JFK: The Challenging Case of Robert Groden”. It might be a good idea for every American to come to grips with what we know now about the death of our 35th president, which I present with supporting evidence in “JFK at 50: The Who, the How and the Why”, which you will not find linked to any entry in Wikipedia.
Anti-Semitism and Middle Eastern Affairs
That Wikipedia included this section on “Middle Eastern Affairs” was something that I greatly appreciated, because my interviews with Press TV, for example, are among my most important current contributions. And the Iranian press is far more open, accurate and informative than, say, The New York Times, where “Mossad Played a Crucial Role in 9/11 Attacks”, offers a nice illustration of something important that you will not read in The Times.
Wikipedia as an encyclopedia
While there are similarities between dictionaries and encyclopedias, there are important distinctions as well (as Wikipedia itself explains):
A dictionary is primarily focused on words and their definition, and typically provides limited information, analysis of different forms, and an etymology (in more complete dictionaries) for the word defined. Hence, while it may offer a definition, it may leave the reader still lacking in understanding the meaning or import of a term, and how the term relates to a broader field of knowledge.An encyclopedia, on the other hand, seeks to discuss each subject in more depth and convey the accumulated knowledge on that subject. This characteristic is especially true of those encyclopedias with long monographs on particular subjects, such as the first ten editions of the Encyclopædia Britannica. While often organized alphabetically, some encyclopedias were not.
The presumption, of course, is that the entires in dictionaries and encyclopedias will be accurate and true, where those in encyclopedias go beyond the meaning of words to explain core concepts and the basic knowledge fundamental to a discipline. Imagine the benefits that would be derived from a dictionary in which the words were improperly defined, whether that occurred accidentally or not. It would defeat the purpose of a reference work of that kind. And similar considerations apply to an encyclopedia, which would otherwise be untrustworthy and unreliable. It would mislead and deceive rather than enlighten and inform.
The situation with Wikipedia, therefore, is anomalous when viewed as an encyclopedia. Its entries are often inaccurate and misleading, where advancing accurate and complete entries on its subjects clearly does not determine what is published. The very idea of avoiding primary sources and demanding secondary or even tertiary instead is a recipe for manufacturing false and deceptive entries, as this entry about me and earlier entires about Scholars for 9/11 Truth, for example, exemplify. It has become increasingly apparent, over time, that Wikipedia does not aspire to accuracy and completeness about its subjects.
Why have an encyclopedia that does not aspire to truth and completeness, especially when its subjects represent diverse political and philosophical positions? We have an instructive instance where my entry was savaged from one that was relatively, if not perfectly, balanced to one that is grossly biased and misleading. The reason appears to be that, between 17 April 2014 and 31 May 2014, I addressed the Holocaust and explained why it deserves to be included in the academic curriculum of colleges and universities here and elsewhere, which was, for Wikipedia, an unpardonable sin. As we should expect from a Zionist disinformation operation, politics of necessity trumps truth.
Jim Fetzer, a former Marine Corps officer and McKnight Professor Emeritus at the University of Minnesota Duluth, is a noted philosopher of science and a leading conspiracy theorist. [NOTE: This is one in a series of articles being republished since veterans today.com deleted them in a dispute with its Senior Editor, Gordon Duff, about which I have since written several articles.]